GMAT- Online v/s In-Centre

gmat - online v/s in-centre

While the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world, it has also helped many people realise the comfort of their homes. Everything is now happening online including work from home, online school, online college and online university, and because of the current scenario, students now also have the chance to give the GMAT examination in an online format from anywhere convenient to them.  

Though there was a period where in-centre (offline) exam was completely shut down, with things slowly opening up around the world, the GMAT is also happening offline in select centres across India and the world. Many applicants are in a spot now to choose between  an online or an in-centre examination. Below, we list down some of the differences and commonalities of the traditional in-centre  and the online GMAT format which can be taken from anywhere.


In-Centre GMAT  Online GMAT

Structure of the Exam

The in-centre exam has four sections namely the Analytical Writing Assessment, the integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal.   Online GMAT has three sections. The only section missing in the online GMAT format is the AWA. 

However, the AWA will also be introduced to the online exam starting from 8th April 2021. 


The in-centre GMAT takes approximately 3 hours and 7 minutes to complete on average.In addition to this there is also 30 minutes for a check in.  The online exam takes around 2 hours 45 minutes with an additional 15 minutes for a check in. 

Order of the examination 

The in-centre exam offers 3 options for candidates:

1. AWA → IR → Quant → Verbal

2. Verbal → Quant → IR → AWA

3. Quant → Verbal → IR → AWA

Currently, the online GMAT offers a fixed format: 

 Quant → Verbal → IR

Candidates can choose from the same 3 options as in the offline exam starting from the 8th of April (when the AWA section is also added to the online exam format)

Examination Fee 

250 USD  250 USD

Cancellation Fee

The cancellation fee is temporarily waived for the in-centre examinations.  The cancellation fee for the online GMAT is 100 USD. 

Rescheduling Fee 

The rescheduling fee for the in-centre exams are temporarily waived.  The rescheduling fee for the online exam is 25 USD 

Score reporting 

Students can report their score to five school for free, after that there is an additional fee of 35 USD per school Students can send their score to as  many schools they wish to at no extra fee. 


The maximum marks a student can get is 800. This is the same as it was before the pandemic began. Same as the offline GMAT. 

Score validity 

The score validity for in-centre  GMAT is 5 years.  The score for online GMAT is also 5 year. 

Score cancellation 

The scores for an in-centre GMAT can be cancelled.  The scores for an online GMAT cannot be cancelled. 

Test place 

The test takes place at the test centre, where students must wear their masks at all times.  The online exam can take place at anywhere according to your convenience . however students should have a good internet connection. 

Material given to candidates 

In-centre GMAT candidates are given a scratchpad or their work.  Candidates are given an option to choose between an online whiteboard or a physical whiteboard. 

Breaks during the examination 

The offline students get two breaks of 8 minutes each.  Online students get a break of just five minutes. 


Candidates can retake the exam 5 times over the period of one year. However there needs to be a minimum gap of 16 days between two exams.  Students giving it online can give the exam twice. 


These are some of the key differences between the online and the offline GMAT. So if you feel that sitting in the comfort of your room works better for you, then an online GMAT is ideal. However, if you have a wavering internet connection and no quiet space at your house, then do consider going to a GMAT centre. This would help you not only focus better but also give you more attempts.  

If you need any further help in the choosing between an online or offline GMAT exam and which suits you better, do contact our professionals. They will help and guide you in the best way possible. We also have the top GMAT tutors from across India on our platform, get in touch with us to schedule a free demo class with them



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